Review by Dom Vigil
There are many words that can describe Aunt Mary’s new release, New Dawn. Cohesive, captivating and energetic are the first few that come to mind upon first listen, but most of all, New Dawn is a timeless release. All eleven songs, while each unique in their own way, are bound to stand the test of time and remain fun to listen to for years to come.
Opening track, “Slave Parade” doesn’t have to try to get your attention with any gimmicks, as the gritty guitar and bass coupled with soulful vocals are more than enough to get you to stick around for the other ten tracks. “Slave Parade” is a rather laid back opener, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring at all - it simply just sounds comfortable and easy. Aunt Mary are not rushing to impress you with this opening track, but it just happens somewhere between the easy, laid back verses and explosive choruses, and by the time the song comes to an end, you want to hear more.
“Unconditional Love” has the same laid back and easygoing vibe as “Slave Parade,” making the transition very seamless. As it goes on, “Unconditional Love” is a bit more on the groovy side than the opener, a little more fun rather than dark and gritty, and the big chorus is incredible, from the wild guitar work to the stunning vocal harmonies. Following “Unconditional Love” is another natural progression into “Hopelessly Lost.” New Dawn’s third track is a bit more energetic and aggressive than the first two songs, picking up the pace with wild guitar work.
Unfortunately, after “Hopelessly Lost,” New Dawn does seem to lose a little bit of the momentum that was building since the beginning. “Happily Ever After” starts big, but tends to lose you a little in the quieter verses. However, the song’s saving grace is in the more energetic chorus, carried by soaring guitar work and stunning backing vocals. After the slight lull in the middle of the album, though, “I Was Born On The Wrong Side” picks up the pace with raw, energetic vocals, urgent drumming and chaotic, fast guitar work. And then, just as fast as the song comes in and shakes things up, it fades out into fuzz, keeping you on your toes. The ending of “I Was Born On The Wrong Side” then makes the transition between it and the following quieter song, “Open Your Eyes,” surprisingly easy, and thankfully, because “Open Your Eyes” sounds nothing like the rest of New Dawn. Unlike the rest of the album, “Open Your Eyes” is carried by acoustic guitar work and feels more emotional than any of the songs that come before it. And the thing is, it totally works. The song doesn’t sound out of place at all, and instead, is a nice change of pace before the end of the album.
Bringing things to an end is “Blind Date,” which takes listeners back to what they’re familiar with, sounding similar to “Slave Parade” and “Unconditional Love,” followed by “Been There, Done That,” which serves as a fun second to last song. There is a lot going on in “Been There, Done That,” both vocally and instrumentally, and it seems to take all of the strong aspects of the rest of New Dawn and compress them into one track before ending things on a high note with “Don’t Keep Me Waiting.”
With gritty guitar work, soulful vocals and smart songwriting, New Dawn, with eleven very different sounding tracks, still remains cohesive and smooth. Not one song sounds out of place on this album, and the result is a very easy and fun to listen to release. The content on New Dawn is timeless, something that listeners will be able to enjoy for years to come.
Listen to "Unconditional Love" or "I Was Born On The Wrong Side"
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